Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Can you identify the language and where it’s spoken?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

10 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Christopher Miller says:

    Definitely Eastern Bantu, especially with mawe for ‘rocks’, just like Swahili, rather than mabwe or matshe as you would find further south. With the initial vowel in the prefix on abantu and ama-hunters and gatherers, I would guess the language is one of the Great Lakes languages, and the tonal contours are reminiscent or Kinyarwanda and Kirundi. I would guess this is likely a Tanganyikan language, possibly Kinyamwezi, Kisukuma or Kihe.

  2. J Roberts says:

    Sounds a bit like Chichewa/Chinyanja?

  3. bennie says:

    sounds very ‘Bantuish’….just a wild guess –> Sesotho

  4. bronz says:

    Following Christopher’s trail, sounds kinda like Kisukuma or Kinyarwanda, based on phonology/vocabulary. On my own, I would’ve just said it’s a Bantu language that is definitely not closely related to Xhosa…

  5. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue: this language is mainly spoken in Zambia.

  6. Is it Bemba? Bemba is primarily spoken in Zambia.

  7. Christopher Miller says:


    I definitely hear noun class prefixes with prefixed vowels, which is not typical of western Bantu languages. I also hear “Batwa” (pygmies), and “pano” recalls something I saw in Chichewa long ago. I also hear “pari” (there is/are), which reminds me of Chichewa. I don’t seem to hear any palatals though, which I would expect from most Zambian languages apart from Silozi. I suspect this is a language of northern or northeastern Zambia, close in structure to Tanganyikan languages. It could possibly be Chinyanja (Chichewa), Chitumbuka, perhaps even Lala, Bisa or Bemba from the centre-north of the country. Which one it would be is something I can’t tell from what I hear, though my tentative guess based on what I can make out and know of the languages in the area would be Chinyanja/Chichewa. I’ll be interested to see the answer!

  8. michael farris says:

    I can’t get any closer than Bantu.

  9. P. says:

    It’d be great if it were Lozi (Silozi), but I didn’t recognize any of the words I know.

  10. Simon says:

    The answer is Bemba (ChiBemba), Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.

    The recording comes from YouTube and is part of a documentary about the Mwela Rock Paintings, a world heritage site in northern Zambia located about 5 Km from Kasama town.

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